A big, loud horn bleat starts the grooving â€œI Need a Man,â€ the opener of Lael Summerâ€™s new album,Â Burden to Bear. New York Cityâ€™s True Groove Records artist, an NYC native herself, Lael says of this collection of 11 new songs, â€œI picked through my thoughts, my dreams, my nightmares, conversations, observations and memories and used the fragments of my life to piece together something I could share with others.”
From â€œI Need a Manâ€ onward, Lael indeed “shares” a unique vocal prowess that at times is grooving and other times whispery light, a lyrical sensibility as poignant as it can be naughty (this first one has great â€œI got an itch to scratch and you ainâ€™t doinâ€™ it rightâ€ line ) all with a great backing band.
â€œYouâ€™re Too Smallâ€ mines the succinct put-down territory youâ€™d think a song of this title would. “Make You Whole” is a pretty ballad that sees the first real control of Laelâ€™s softer voice and â€œIn Timeâ€ (my personal fave) has a nice slinky feel, a strong lyric, well-produced piano and wonderful percussion from Daniel Sadownick.
The lady manages a great bluesy read of Hall and Oatesâ€™ â€œDo What You Want, Be What You Areâ€Â (so great in fact, Summerâ€™s was picked as the buzz track to watch out for by the KingsOfAR.com). â€œKiss And Tellâ€ is another fine grove with a very commercial chorus. â€œWhat Do I Know (About Love)” and â€œLook Aroundâ€ are solid MOR hits weaving nice textural grooves. Her last, â€œUnconditionally,â€ is a soft acoustic and piano ballad ender with a deep lyric.
Check out Lael Summer,Â Â and get in on this soulful lady with the big voice.